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Department of Justice

Labels and identification marking

These clauses are current as of 1 July 2014

1. Legible and permanently identified - AS / NZS 3000, Clauses,, and AS / NZS 5033 Clause 5.3 :2012

Identification of circuit protective devices, isolation switches and signs that identify equipment shall be marked using a method that is legible and permanently identified.

Identification by marking or labelling that may be suitable in a switchboard enclosure, may not be suitable on equipment that is exposed to the environment.

Legible means

Easy to read (neat and clear writing); and
Written in English.

Permanently identified means

Won't rub off;
Will remain for the intended life of the installation.

Please note, identification by permanent marker, is not considered to be permanent when exposed to the environment and shall therefore be replaced with an engraved or more permanent label.

2. Labelling of existing main switches after an embedded generation system installation - AS4777.1 : 2005 and AS/NZS 3000 : 2007

(Embedded generation system, means a generating unit connected within a distribution network and includes but not limited to; solar photovolatics, mini hydros and wind turbines.)

An electrical contractor who connects an embedded generation system to an existing installation must comply with the following:

  • AS 4777.1 Clause 5.5.2, requires the placement of a label on the switchboard to which the inverter energy system is connected, warning that all supplies need to be disconnected before working on that switchboard.
  • It is therefore necessary to ensure that all main switches, both new and existing, are appropriately labelled as required by AS / NZS 3000 Clause and the full words "MAIN SWITCH" must be used.

This clause also requires that each label accurately indicates the portion of the electrical installation it controls, irrespective of the tariff, e.g.


Abbreviations such as M/S, N/S, S/S, H/W or L/P are not acceptable.